According to the majority of the Greeks, the fraternities kinda get broken down like this.
Keep in mind that this doesn't reflect my personal views nor do I endorse the "tier" system that people so frequently use.
Lambda Chi, DU, Sig Ep, Delta Chi, Skulls, AEPi
This doesn't count off-campus fraternities except for ATO (which is in a tricky situation) and AEPi (which is currently off campus but will be back on in fall '11. Not to be confused with APES, the underground "fraternity" without a charter).
Getting a bid to the "top" houses is a lot about who you know. Having a friend from high school, home, or even something like a cousin's-boyfriend's-brother can really help out a lot. You need to be personable, sociable, and ready to tell the brothers why you would be an asset to their chapter. Be prepared to go to every event that you are invited to, and put on your best face for all of them. Looking disinterested and bored is a major no-no, but getting too drunk and doing something stupid like hitting on a brother's girlfriend is equally as bad, if not worse.
Fiji has a very unique recruitment process, and chances are that if you haven't heard from them already, you probably won't get a bid. Sigma Chi, Beta, Phi Psi are known as preppier houses that love the kids wearing Brooks Brothers, Polo, Vineyard Vines, etc. They put more of an emphasis on academics and look for very well-rounded kids (Sigma Chi's hold essentially every exec position in every significant campus organization). Phi Psi especially has a lot of kids from the North Shore of Chicago. Acacia, Pi Kapps, and ATO recruit less "fratty" guys - more into athletics and personality than how you dress. Pi Kapps wins IFC intramurals almost every year, and Acacia is infamous for their party setup.
during rush... do you have enough time to go around and meet a good amount of the houses? arent there like 30 of them? and will you get a chance to actually get to know a few or do you just meet a bunch and pick one and hope to get a bid?
FIJI requires that you sign up for rush before your incoming year (I think there was on in February and a few other dates). Then, if you you get a bid and accept it, you move in straight away. I like the guys in FIJI and my neighbor is in there, but I didn't want to miss out on the dorm experience and I wanted a chance to see the other houses.
@pcharles, when my brother went through rush, he got to see a lot of the houses. He saw over ten, but he had already ruled out a lot of the other houses just based on reputation (bad grades, hard drugs, etc) so he didn't need to see them. You'll get a feel for a lot of the houses when you rush. Choose the one where you think you will fit in best - you will, after all, have to spend quite a lot of time with your brothers. PM me if theres any more information you want to know. I know a lot about the Greek system already (parents went to IU, cousins there, brother there), but I could always ask my family questions about any intricacies you want to know.
After reading that article, I'm in a state of disgust. Although I am a big believer in "everyone has their opinion", that was just ignorant and foolish. That article is a personal attack on every single member of a fraternity. What's more interesting is that her article, Ms. Flannigan cites no research to the fact that most rapes on university campuses are committed by fraternity men. Rather, she draw upon one very sad case study which involved members of a certain organization committing a horrible act that is also carried out by MORE men who are not Greek affiliated. I put Ms. Flannigan on the same level as people who accuse all Muslims of being terrorists. She is a feminist extremist, in a terrible way. I treat the women whom I am friends and surrounded by with the utmost respect, but quite frankly, the author of that article is disgusting.
Also, she transferred from UVa in her first week because her first SIGHT of Greek houses scared her? Am I the only one having a hard time grasping that? Like, really? And then she goes on to say that her acute sense of paranoia deprived her of an equal opportunity to education and would justify shutting every Greek house down? Crazy. Just crazy. I also find it interesting that she slammed the Greek system as a whole over and over again without mentioning sororities. Interesting.
@ace550 please go sit in another thread full of group-polarized, stereotyping Greek-haters. The rest of us will stop applying singular, horrifying cases to the far more moderate general public and continue on with our RELEVANT discussions. Thanks.
truzzi182, I agree. I find it hard to believe that fraternity men were found to be "more likely" to commit sexual assault than non-fraternity men. And transferring after one week at the sheer sight of a fraternity house? You knew you were going to UVA which has a giant Greek system. And the "never, ever go upstairs" rule is just ludicrous. Change it to "never, ever go upstairs with a stranger no matter where you are" - not just at a fraternity house.
ElizaB's information is very on point. Remember "best" is an extremely relative term. Remember its important that you fit in with the guys you are surrounded by and have similar interests. I know people that joined "top tier" fraternities but are miserable because they do not fit into their culture.
With regards to the WSJ article and the Greek system as a whole, there are many underlying issues affecting any Greek house. Drinking and underage drinking goes on in nearly every single house around the country and everyone knows it (the university, the police, and parents), but no one acts unless houses get caught for doing something else wrong.
A note on sexual assault and fraternities:
Sexual assault and crimes occur across campuses across the country. The influence of alcohol obviously affects decision making thus the assertion "fraternity men were found to be "more likely" to commit sexual assault than non-fraternity men" is made due to the party/drinking culture that is often associated with the Greek system. Such a stereotype fails to consider the value-based nature of these organizations and the philanthropic, justice, scholarly and ambitious ideals of many of these groups. Based on their organizational standards, fraternity men are expected to live their life with a higher standard in mind relative to non-fraternity men.
Another issue affecting fraternities are acts of its individual members being linked to the entire organization, related-organizations and all of these organizations' members. With my experiences, it really is true that about 2% of members are the cause of 98% of problems.
Since this is on the first page, I'll just post in here rather than start a new thread.
I'll be a freshman next year, and I would just like to get a few insiders' opinions on good fraternities so I can give special interest to reputable ones when I rush. I'm a decent student (DA to kelley) but I still definitely like to party and socialize. Ideally I'd like a frat that has well-rounded, friendly kids that aren't necessarily the biggest partiers or the top students, but just a house of chill guys. I don't really mind tier placement, although ElizaB's post is really helpful. If any specific fraternities come to anyone's mind, please do share. Also feel free to pm me as well, I'd love to find out the real reputations of the houses from past and current students.
Thanks in advance, and sorry for leaching off the thread!
^ Delta Chi has ATO's house for this coming school year and possibly the year after that, but after that they will once more exist off-campus only.... unless another frat gets kicked off campus and they rent out their house, hahaha.
I really think that anyone who is rushing should go by the house that they feel that they fit into the best, as opposed to going by a silly tier system. All Greek houses at IU are strong and you can get a great experience in any of them. It sounds cheesy but it's true!